Xserve or G5?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by bankshot, Nov 2, 2003.

  1. bankshot macrumors 65816


    Jan 23, 2003
    Southern California
    Perhaps I've already made up my mind, and maybe the choice is even that obvious, but I'm wondering if anyone here has any opinions.

    My group at work needs a large fileserver to support Windows, OS X, SGI, and Sun machines. Given the cross platform needs, a Mac with Xserve RAID seems like the obvious choice. It's also a hell of a lot cheaper than any other Unix offerings from companies such as Sun and SGI, and the PC fileservers I see in the same price range for the storage capacity are all Windows based.

    So we're planning to get an Xserve RAID maxxed out with 2.52 TB of disk space. Now the question is, PowerMac G5 or Xserve for the controlling computer? If we could afford to wait, I would hold out for a G5 Xserve, but unfortunately we have to get the order in later this week (fiscal year deadlines looming). So unless the G5 Xserve comes out in the next day or two, this is the decision that must be made.

    The primary application for this machine will be as a file server, so CPU horsepower isn't necessarily the biggest priority. Though it may end up doing double duty with offline data processing as needed. Similarly configured Xserve and PowerMac G5 have a few differences:

    Xserve pros
    • 220 GB more max disk space (added to the Xserve RAID disk space)
    • Designed to be a server
    • Panther Server included

    G5 pros
    • Faster disks (serial ATA)
    • Faster CPUs
    • Faster system bus
    • Can double as a real workstation
    • $1900 cheaper as configured
    • SuperDrive to archive data to DVD

    So the choice is obvious, right? My only real hesitation with the G5 is (a) I have to order Panther Server separately if I want it (+$1000) and (b) since it'll be connected to the Xserve RAID, we can't exactly put it in someone's office as their workstation. That means people will have to go to the computer lab to make use of it as a workstation, which may or may not happen that often...

    EDIT: Also with the G5, I would be adding a monitor (+$700-$2000??) whereas the Xserve would just use a spare monitor we may have around only as needed.

    Any thoughts? :)
  2. jamesatzones macrumors regular

    Aug 29, 2003
    Right now there is a program to test out the Xserve and Xserve RAID through Apple and Zones. You can try it for 60 days with no questions asked and if you decide to keep it you get Net 30 from Zones. There are benefits to both routes, with the Xserve you do get OS X Server unlimeted included, where as the G5 you need to purchase seperatly.

    PM me if you are interested in this or have some questions, I work with Mac businesses and have sold many Xserves and G5s in my day...

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